Miracles Still Happen

I haven’t been writing much lately and I miss it. My time however has been consumed with the arrival of our son, Nicolas. He was born February 24th, healthy and whole.

I wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids. I was told in my early 20’s that it would be a miracle if I ever became pregnant. Well, at age 39, our miracle is currently snoozing in my arms.

I may have shared this before but eight years or so ago I had a dream that I walked into my doctor’s office wearing a green hospital gown and for the life of me, didn’t understand why I was wearing a hospital gown. The next thing I knew I was in one of the exam rooms and I was in labor.

Even in the dream I was confused as to how it was happening. Then, the doctor handed me a little blonde-haired, green-eyed, healthy baby boy. As I looked down at him I heard a voice behind me say, “His name is Nicolas and I sent him.”

I woke up from that dream not knowing what to make of it. I thought maybe my husband and I would adopt one day and that’s what it was about. I held onto that dream in my heart all these years waiting to see exactly what God had in store and this past July when we realized I was pregnant, I knew exactly who I was carrying in my womb. Nicolas.

Dimples photography

He looks just as I remember him. He has blonde hair, and now we’re waiting for his eyes to turn green.

On my 38th birthday I made a promise to myself to be in my best health by the time I was 40. I’ve always tried to live a healthy lifestyle but had some health issues hindering my efforts. Through prayer I found and switched my way of eating to a Ketogenic lifestyle. When I did, all of those health issues dissappeared. Within two weeks my bloodwork was normal again and I felt like a new person. We’ve never looked back and keep moving forward.

I had read that Keto helped many women with infertility issues but it never crossed my mind that it would be the same for me. I had it stuck in my head that I would never have kids and had accepted that a long time ago. However, my daily prayers over my health of being healed and whole…well, I was healed of everything and made completely whole. When God does something, He does it right.

He’s only 13 days old but I don’t know if I will ever not feel overwhelmed holding him…not just holding him but knowing I am holding a promise from God. I get to hold a promise that God showed me over eight years ago after believing for almost 20 years that it was impossible.

If God can do this, He can do anything. There are things I’m believing Him for right now that seem truly impossible but I’m reminded with each feeding, each diaper change, each cry, each smile, each coo, each look, that with God all things are possible.

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5 KJV

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26 KJV

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CHOCOLATE CAKE and SIN

CHOCOLATE CAKE and SIN

Mmm…chocolate cake. There are few people I have encountered in my life that do not like chocolate cake. They are marked “weirdos” in my book. Just kidding…not really.

Don’t get all defensive, I eat mayo with my fries. Now I’m a “weirdo” in your book. We’re even.

The thing is, I don’t eat fries any more. No potatoes. No chocolate cake either. No sugar.

Almost a year ago (5/30/16) my husband and I changed our diet to a Ketogenic lifestyle. This was mainly for me but he is a weight lifter and a Heavy Athletics game competitor (Scottish Highland Games) so he was all for it to help with his muscle and strength building.

I was doing it for health reasons which is a blog for another day.

Eating the Keto way (keto is what it is called for short) means cutting out all refined sugars and eating a high fat, low-carb, medium protein diet. These are called your “macros” and the amount of each is based on your current height/weight/goals.

This way of eating, once you get through the first week where your body basically detoxes, is amazing. Clearer thinking, overall well-being, no sugar crashes or spikes…I could go on. We will never go back to a carb filled diet, I can tell you that much.

However, the mind is a tricky thing. There will be times when you think you want something like a donut, a sugar filled juice, or…ahem…chocolate cake. The reality is, when you bite into something like this after being on keto for a while, it tastes gross.

For the most part.

You don’t realize how addicted you are to sugar until you detox your body of it. There are some great documentaries out there on this topic that do a fantastic job of explaining it in-depth. I recommend watching them and then take a look at all those “healthy” foods you eat (granola, yogurt, fruit…yes, fruit).

Back to chocolate cake. It’s comfort food. It reminds me of birthdays – good times. Every now and then, my mind will crave a piece of chocolate cake. Thankfully, some resourceful ketoers took it upon themselves to create various keto chocolate cakes using ingredients like almond flour or coconut flour. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE, whoever you are.

I’ve made a few various keto chocolate cake recipes and they taste pretty good. Just as easy, if not easier, to make than regular cake.

One day I was craving real chocolate cake though. I suggested it to my husband.

Every now and then he will do a carb-load to replenish his muscles. He does heavy workouts and burns it right off. I on the other hand really have to commit to a carb load and know that I am going to work it off. This is not typically recommended on keto by the way, this is how we choose to handle our diet. I must also point out, a typical carb load is not eating chocolate cake…it should be healthier carbs than cake.

So there I was in the kitchen suggesting decadent chocolate cake from a local bakery to my husband. We discussed the ramifications of eating it. Having that kind of sugar after not eating sugar for so long makes your head feel “cloudy” and your thinking isn’t as clear. I knew eating the cake would make me feel like this and I HATE that feeling.

I also knew that I would have to work extra hard over the next couple of days to get back into ketosis and work off the brain fog. I would stall my weight loss. I wouldn’t just take the chance of spiking my sugar, I would basically be stabbing the needle right into my veins and feeding the sugar straight in. The headache would be monstrous from the overkill of sugar that is in chocolate cake.

We debated. We discussed.

Then we got in the car and drove to the bakery.

We were basically a modern-day version of Adam and Eve in the garden if it were a sin to eat chocolate cake. 

We talked about this on the way to the bakery. How sin works. How easy it was for me to suggest something my brain was craving which then made his brain crave it. We justified it with how we were going to work off the carbs and sugar after we stuffed our faces and even knew how horrible (guilty) we would feel after eating it. But we knew we would enjoy the few moments it took to let those moist morsels of sugary, fluffy cake melt in our mouths.

This is what sin looks like. 

Sin is something the mind thinks it craves. We know how horrible it is for us. We know the after effects once we partake. We can get others to skip down that sinful lane with us. We can justify it any way we choose. We can make it sound fun and harmless.

In the end, sin is sin and the outcome doesn’t change.

I had my cake, but I had my headache and lethargy and stomach bloat and regret after I ate it, too.

When we have to justify our actions we should really stop and examine ourselves. When we find ourselves having to convince ourselves, we may be stepping into an area of sin.

Eating chocolate cake is not a sin but lets pretend for a moment it is. Parallel this to sin as you read.

For the record, reading in the Word and having a relationship with God will reveal to each individual what sin is. I’m not going to list what I believe to be sin in this post.

The thing is, eating chocolate cake before I knew about keto never made me feel better either. It always came with the knowledge that I would have to work a little harder at the gym after eating some. This was a way to continue in the habit/action/sin of eating the cake. I justified it. I found a way to live with it and be okay with it. I didn’t really think it was that bad for me other than having to work off the calories and fat.

Then I learned about keto and I studied the effects of refined sugar on the body. I had medical issues from the years of eating refined sugar. I was losing hope until I read about keto.

Parallel this to salvation and becoming accountable to the Word of God and what sin is.

Now when I eat cake, I am accountable for it because I absolutely know what it does to my body and the effects it will have. I have a choice to make, eat it or don’t eat it.

If eating chocolate cake were an actual sin, it was a sin before I knew the effects of sugar just as much as after I knew because the effects never changed, I just became aware of them.

Sin does not change but our understanding of what sin is, does change. The effects of sin have never changed.

This is what makes the fact that God sent His son to save me so amazing to me. There are no words to describe it. He knew I wouldn’t always make the right choices but if I chose His Son, if I took one moment and let Him in to my heart, He would be my justification. He would be my saving grace. He would be my mediator.

This doesn’t mean I can sin when I want, however I want. This means that when I miss the mark, I have Jesus.

I can’t imagine a life without Him…or some form of chocolate cake.

Get blessed.